America is like an onion. If you pull back the peel, which resembles our freedom, one can find out more and more about the country that resembles the problems America is facing. The layers of an onion contain a chemical not so soothing to humans, which is similar to the problems that effect Americans. America is a hardworking and thriving country that goes to all bounds in order to prosper. However, in all of its prosperity, America has problems that are significantly important. America has major problems with great numbers of people with obesity, increasing poverty, and many acts of violence.
America could solve all of these problems with an examination of the problem and motivation to change America. Citizens need to strive to make America better as they did in the past. America now, compared to many years ago, has had a significant increase in obesity. “Overall, 38 percent of U. S. adults are obese and 17 percent of teenagers are” (Fox, 2016, para. 3). Obesity is when an individual’s body mass index (BMI), which measures height to weight, exceeds a number of 30. An individual is considered overweight at 25 (Fox, 2016). In 2001 a U. S. surgeon claimed that obesity has reached the requirements to be considered an “epidemic”.
People do not know what exactly elevated the numbers so high. However, some people believe that the reason for obesity is the individual’s responsibility. They believe that obese people suffer from self-indulgence and a weak willpower. Therefore, other people believe there is such a large population of obese people because of environmental factors, such as fast food, advertising, and cheap unhealthy foods, that are everywhere and are very powerful. Although these topics seem spot on to what many people believe, a new group is rising to contrast these beliefs (Ambinder, 2010).
Fat activists got inspiration from the civil rights movement and gay movement. They believe the term “obesity” should not be referred to for overweight or obese people. They want the term to be referred to as an individual of any size that lives an unhealthy lifestyle. Ignoring the doctor proven results that with being overweight comes many health issues, the fat activist believe fatness should be considered as a form body diversity, like race and sexuality are. Since obesity has been proven as a hereditary gene, they believe that individuals cannot stop or prevent themselves from being fat because their genes lay out everything.
If a fat person lives a healthy lifestyle that is active and incorporates many healthy foods and has a BMI of 32, they are obese. However, a thin person that lives a sedentary lifestyle and binge watches Netflix everyday while eating fast food, candy and chips with only a BMI of 20, is considered healthy. According to the national BMI standards, the person with the BMI of 32 is obese and needs to lose fat to be at a proper weight according to their height, not their lifestyle (Saguy, A. C. , & Riley, K. W. , 2005).
However, doctors invented BMI as a standard that Americans should be according to their size in order to prevent health risks. Americans that are overweight spend millions of dollars on health care a year. They even spend money on weight loss supplements and surgeries that will take away fat or reduce a person’s size fast. If obesity brings all these unhealthy risks, why should Americans accept obesity? America is preventing its people from having to pay large sums of money to stay healthy, instead of simply choosing a healthy lifestyle and eliminating every other factor that comes with obesity.
Some Americans do not care about their appearance and intake food while others in America are living below poverty levels and cannot have a proper three meals a day. America needs to take a step back and look at what obesity is doing to them and the country in order to make any progress in finding a solution to this “epidemic” (Saguy, A. C. , & Riley, K. W. , 2005). One of the most major issues in America that has been around for a long time is poverty. In 2014, about 14. 7 million people were living below the poverty line. Not only does poverty effect adults, but it has the greatest impact on children (Zile, 2016).
The poverty rate is significantly higher for children than either the elderly or the nonaged adults in this country” (Oberg, 1987, p. 567). Through the years, there has been an increase in anemia, fatigue and growth failure in children, which shows the malnutrition children are receiving (Oberg, 1987). Not only is it children being effected, but race plays a big role in poverty. White people may have the largest number of the poor, but the other races are almost three times the rate of whites (Edelman, 2012). The highest rates are in the Blacks with 26. 2 percent and Hispanics with 23. percent (Zile, 2016).
Most people work as many jobs as they can and go in and out of poverty, others do little to no work on a daily basis and depend on the governments money to survive. Many people believed Ronald Reagans famous quote of “We fought a war on poverty, and poverty won,” was accurate, until the government decided enough was enough and to take action. The government started Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps, Earned Income Tax Credit, Pell grants, Supplement Security Income, welfare, and the many Obama health care acts to help raise people out of poverty (Edelman, 2012).
Even with all of the policies, a large sum of people was still working at low-wage jobs. Many households today are headed by a single parent, which makes it difficult to care for a family on a low-income salary. The single parent would have to depend on assistance from the government to make ends meet (Edelman, 2012). In addition, the country spends billions of dollars on health care and many low-income families cannot even have adequate care. The Medicaid that helps low-income families have health care isn’t even used on children most of the time.
If a single mother is using all the health care money to stay healthy to raise her children, what is left over for the children if they get sick? They get nothing (Oberg, 1987) In order to stop poverty, they need to make the rich pay more taxes because they have money sitting around that others desperately need, raise minimum wage to prevent low-income wages, provide adequate health care to everyone, and try to keep the reforms already in place stay there while furthering the government assistance (Edelman, 2012).
When many Americans think of violence they think of movies where people are poor and live in gang areas, so they join the gang and resort to violence to make money. Violence is everywhere in America, not just the poor sections that many think of. Violence is in movies, in video games, in sports, etc. (Heroux, 2013). Today many people think of guns when it comes to violence because gun homicide is one of the leading causes of death. “In the United States, the death rate from gun homicide is about 31 per million people–the equivalent of 27 people shot dead every day of the year” (Quealy, K. & Sanger-Katz, M. 2016, para. 6). America surpasses many countries with this statistic.
Many other countries have rates of gun homicide of about one per million people. For example, Japan’s rate of gun homicide is equivalent to the rate of an American being struck by lightning, which is one in 10 million people (Quealy, K. & Sanger-Katz, M. , 2016). Along with gun homicide comes mass shootings. Throughout 2016 there has been many mass shootings all over the country. From just January to June of the years 2015 and 2016 there was a great increase, starting at 12 and increasing to 58 victims (Soffen, 2016).
Many people just want to blame guns for all the violence in America, but there is so much more, like rape, robberies, and assault, that plays big factors. However, the main cause of violence is a result from guns. People believe that the only way to stop gun violence is to recognize that where there are more guns, there is more homicide. The government could help the problem by cracking down on guns and users to reduce the tragic outcome of guns by the illegal carry and use of guns by a person. This could potentially help reduce all violence according to Albert Bandura’s experiment which states:
The data on how seeing violence leads to violent actions has been well established since 1961 when Albert Bandura did his famous bobo doll experiment. Children witnessed an adult doing specific aggressive behaviors towards an inflatable bobo doll. The children who saw the aggressive behavior then were released into the room with a bobo doll and they exhibited the same behavior. Children who did not see the adults do the aggressive behavior were far less likely to act aggressively towards the bobo doll (Heroux, 2013, para. 10). Bandura’s experiment proves that if America eliminated violence, people would no longer need to perform violent acts.
If the number one act of violence is no longer happening, then that allows America to work on the other acts of violence and find a solution for a better America. From obesity to poverty to violence, they all tie into one another. Since they all make up a part of America, other problems are going to aid others. Like an onion, every layer makes up the whole onion. If you are missing one of the layers, the onion is not whole. In order to fix the problems in American, America will have to start at one spot and work their way out to the protective layer.
If action is taken to develop a solution, the rest will fall into place like dominos. It just takes that one person to start the chain reaction and persuade others to better America. If you peel each layer of the onion back at a time, the onion gets smaller, like America’s problems. America is a great and mighty country that has a few ups and downs from obesity to poverty to violence. However, with a simple act of each person willing to make a change, every problem could possibly have a remedy. As a country united, Americans can all make a change for the better.